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Saturday, 27 April 2019 17:03

Maryknoll Leads Them to Action

Written by Mary & Manny Hotchkiss
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Mary and Manny Hotchkiss - Portland Chapter

The Las Vegas Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter formed 15 years ago after Los Angeles Affiliates Lee and Punch Fermin moved to Las Vegas. The group has now grown to ten people, including four nurses and a recently retired doctor. We were fortunate to gather over a casual dinner with Lee and Punch Fermin, Nicet Santos, and Evelyn Pua. Nicet explained, “Many of us knew about Maryknoll and the Sisters and Fathers from when we were growing up in the Philippines.”

Affiliates gathered in Las Vegas: Manny Hotchkiss, Lee Fermin, Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss, Punch Fermin, Nicet Santos, and Evelyn Pua

This is a chapter of busy, mostly retired people. They gather to share their lives and support each other. Many of their other activities are spiritually oriented. Their dedication belies the Las Vegas nickname of Sin City.

Punch said, “Maryknoll Affiliates gets us into action.” The chapter meets monthly and very generously donates to a designated charity at each meeting. The chapter has sponsored children through Caminando Por la Paz and has donated to Rachel’s Vineyard. They have helped the homeless and thrown a pizza party for orphans. Right to Life is a strong concern of theirs, especially in light of the Right to Die measures currently in the Nevada legislature. They take a constructive approach by trying to help pregnant women or those who regret an abortion rather than participating in protests. 

Most of the Las Vegas Affiliates belong to a very large, affluent, and growing parish but haven’t advertised their Maryknoll events through the parish. They want to maintain the Vatican II reforms, and they want to understand their faith.

Most members receive and enjoy the NSFA, but some don’t receive the Monday Affiliate website update email. In the NSFA, they want to read what other Affiliates are doing. Punch said she’d like to learn more about socially responsible investing, particularly what Maryknoll, as an organization, is doing in this area. They’d love to have Maryknollers visit them. We suggested the Chapter Companions program to them. This chapter would like to also connect with other chapters and suggested using Skype to at least share a prayer during meetings. They asked, “Where is the next regional meeting?”  They hosted a regional conference in 2011.

After Evelyn told us that as a young woman she investigated other religions including Hinduism and various Christian groups, Punch commented, “We try to take the positive from each group we meet.” At their meetings, they discuss a reading included in the agenda by Lee and share their reflections. Punch added, “Lee (currently serving as a Regional Coordinator) deserves a lot of credit for keeping the group connected, on track with what the Maryknoll Affiliate Board is leading us to do.”

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Read 466 times Last modified on Monday, 29 April 2019 14:53
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